Parents in Hong Kong are getting separated from their babies who test positive for the coronavirus infection, fuelling anger against China’s “zero Covid” policy. The city’s not in full lockdown, but authorities are tightening measures to combat its fifth and most serious wave of Covid-19. Under Hong Kong policy, children can only be discharged if they test negative seven days after their admission.
Loving parents Nick and Laura are aching to see their eleven-month-old daughter Ava. After testing positive for Covid-19 on Monday, baby Ava got separated from her parents and forced into quarantine. Hong Kong sees an intense spike in the estimation of those that will become infected with the virus in early March. As an effort to keep the infection rates low, they enacted their ‘Zero-Covid’ rules. As the Zero-Covid rules begin to re-emerge so do the mandatory mass testing of its more than 7 million residents. We also see a re-emergence of fear that a nationwide lockdown is soon to follow.
In a video to CNN, we see parents Nick and Laura fight back tears through a phone screen as their baby struggles to self-soothe. At one point in the video Ava’s father Nick attempts to speak with the nurse in the room, nearly begging her to give Ava a hug, “Nurse, just give her some comfort please,” The nurse was wearing a full hazmat suit appears on the screen, her face covered with a shield. Prior to Nick’s outcry came Laura’s sobbing, “I can’t bear it”.
Approximately a week ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping took the unusual step of directly calling on Hong Kong officials to take “all necessary measures,” according to comments published on the front pages of two Chinese state-run newspapers. Hong Kong continues to justify its seemingly strict, almost inhumane actions by claiming their fifth, most serious wave of the destained virus Covid-19 is soon to come. Hong Kong has reported five times more cases of Covid-19 in the past three weeks than the entire pandemic combined.
The strict measures leave citizens to have a distaste for their seemingly heartless government. As cases continue to rise, all look to their family and friends for comfort, even those who’ve tested positive. At the end of the video shared with CNN Laura makes a heartbreaking promise to Ava, “Bubba, we love you…we’re going to come and get you, darling. We will.”